§ 23. Mr. ALBERY
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now make any statement concerning the alleged ill-treatment of children in British Somaliland?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)
During the absence of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies in East Africa, I have been asked to reply to Questions on his behalf. I am sure that I speak for the whole House in saying that we greatly regretted to hear of his illness. I am glad to be able to add that the most recent report is that he is making progress.
The alleged ill-treatment refers to punishment of boys for refusing to carry 192 out the task of keeping the streets of the native village at Sheikh clear of refuse. This duty was assigned to the village boys with the acquiescence of the tribal elders, and on two occasions only within the last four years have boys been punished, the punishment awarded being four strokes with a light cane. No complaint has been received from the villagers of Sheikh.